sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Forever War

War - and peace?

I read the book "Forever War" by Joe Haldeman, when I returned from my first war(s). It was first published in 1974 but I didn't get to it until about 1979. The military science fiction book won the Hugo and Nebula awards. I'm not sure precisely who decides what book wins what and why, but suffice to say that it was a well regarded book.
The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries...
And so forth. The war never ended. But this blog isn't about the book, it's about the constant wars that the United States has been involved in. There are small wars and there are large wars. And there are wars, by other means that seldom reach the press. I've done all three in my lifetime and sometimes feel their weight. And I've done police work which is a low intensity conflict every day. 

America is still at war, our freedoms of privacy have been taken away for the most part by FISA Courts - with a dubious track record of credibility. We've been shown by the failed coup attempt on President Trump that the FBI lies and the courts rubber stamp it. I realize that the FBI would tell me that was just because of the election. Right. I'd like to see you the Moon. Lock, stock and barrel. Small bills only, please. 

Bumblehive and PRISM

The big NSA facility in Utah downloads and stores everything for future use. I'm sure that this blog will end up there as they spider the Internet daily. It costs billions of dollars but 'no price is too great for freedom'...

So no matter how much you think that it's just the taxes that you pay to put men in green suits at the point of the spear, it's not.
(from Wikipedia, cited above) Binney alleged, after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, controls that limited unintentional collection of data pertaining to U.S. citizens were removed, prompting concerns by him and others that the actions were illegal and unconstitutional. Binney alleged that the Bluffdale facility was designed to store a broad range of domestic communications for data mining without warrants.
The Beltway

John Bolton, former NSC functionary, wanted war and worked hard to generate a new one. He's not the only one. Just attend a cocktail party hosted by Beltway bandits and suggest that we pull back from South Korea and Germany and you'll experience horror as people back away from you. Soon, the waiters won't be offering you canapés or glasses of champagne and there will be a ten foot buffer zone between you and the nearest guest, who will fear that your absurd idea is catching. We spend about a trillion dollars a year on military and intelligence operations which go to salaries and hardware. 

You've never heard me complain about the American military budget, but it insures that the war will go on, hot or cold, forever. 

The Mail: Remembrance

OldAFSarge - I will never forget, I will never forgive.
What about Hanoi Jane? The nation forgot about that person very quickly. But I'm with you. The war is with Islam and nobody dare mention it. Frankly, I say let them slaughter each other. We don't have a horse in that race. Israel can be our outpost if it's necessary. We have more than enough oil & gas. Where is the vital interest? If Europe and Asia want to protect THEIR interests, let them build navies and armies (and Air Forces of course) that are equal to the task. We can view it all from above courtesy of the US Space Force.
LSP - That was said with admirable restraint.

And here we are. 

As the DLC's RHSM, I have to show restraint. It's expected. And if I go over the top, the only thing that I'll carry is a swagger stick. No way to get through the artillery, wire, and machine guns anyway.

WSF - Do we get the government agencies we deserve, or do the agency personnel deserve our contempt?
Most of the the people who work there are true believers with classical educations. They feel as if they are doing work for God and country. It's easy to be swept up in the whole drama, the kabuki theater, that is played out before your eyes. It's sort of a cult with a faith all its own, secrets, passwords, initiations and articles of conduct that don't really take into account the feelings of or the consent of the governed. 
Jim - I remember it well. The JFK murder as well. I'm still angered by the Benghazi business. Americans were left hanging out to dry and that's simply not done. And our fearless leader liked to take credit for bagging UBL.
I don't think that the Beltway (Military Industrial Complex) was happy about nailing Bin Laden. They're have rather had him fighting until he died of old age. No profit in killing him.  
The truth is still not out about Benghazi, which was a heist of gold, sent with the Ambassador to buy back Stinger missiles authorized by Hillary (SECSTATE), who sent them to the Libyans in the first place. Of course the heist took on a different dynamic once the Mohammedans were riled up.
Woodsterman - I remember every one of those. There are those who have grown to hate this country and those of us that have to defend her from the socialist pestilence within.
The North Carolina election yesterday with the Republican Candidate going from -17 to +2 because of the Trump Effect that gives me hope that we'll have four more years of Trump. Liberal heads exploded in 2016. They'll melt in 2020. Which is a good thing (though admittedly messy).
Fredd said - I remember the JFK assassination as well, (I was in 3rd grade), but mostly because the funeral was held on a Saturday and it pre-empted all the cartoon programming normally looked forward to by me.  

Then the RFK assassination, along with Martin Luther King, I was in 8th grade; the nation was so messed up at that time, what with Vietnam and hippies everywhere you looked, these events all seemed normal at the time: life and death in America.
The nation was a lot more messed up then than it is now. The fools like Beto and the Butt Guy were just normal hippies back then. The lunatics knew their place, chewing on window panes (LSD), puffing weed and banging some other syphilitic freak, of whichever gender was convenient. Now the asylum doors are open and the likes of the Fake Indian are beating the war drums.
Mike_C - All true, sadly. Nor did I imagine that we would dramatically increase our intake of persons from MENA in the years to come. But I blame soft-headed persons operating under the guise of religious organizations for that as much as I blame BHO (PBUH). 

However, IMO the worst damage from 9/11 was not poorly thought-out military misadventures, nor even the deliberate importation of enemies of the West, but the growth of the surveillance state and its overt integration with big tech.
Big budgets, big power and the Forever War are the justification. Then again, with the limited bandwidth and low tech of the mountains, there is not much interest in armed rednecks in fly-over country -- currently.
I did see law enforcement activity the other night. A U-Haul struck a big bull elk head on, on State Highway 87, a two lane paved mountain road. The front of the U-Haul was demolished, the elk was dead and an AZ State Trooper showed up. We almost never see them. I think that you have to hit an elk and block a lane of traffic to have them show the government flag. There was no prep for a CASEVAC, so I have to suspect that it was a fatal.

Back to Somalia Part 3 - mail and general observations


National Security Advisor John Bolton was fired. I can't but wonder how that neocon lasted as long as he did on President Trump's staff. All he ever wanted was a war - or wars. And not because America needed to go to war, just because of a sort of (near demonic) bureaucratic bloodlust. As you will gather from those comments, I wasn't one of Bolton's biggest fans. You'll note that Bolton never, ever volunteered to be on the point of the kinetic, that's for the little people, the expendable people in the national chess game that Bolton wanted to play.

One of the things I like best about President Trump is his aversion to throw people into a meat grinder in some distant land where their deaths are meaningless. Those of you who have read this blog for any period of time understand that I have no problem with war. But let it be necessary, not frivolous.

John Bolton was pushing for massive troop deployments in Somalia, among other things. He's gone now and that won't happen for the next four years of the Trump Administration. 

Now, the mail

LindaG - Informative update. Thanks, as always, LL.
Just sharing the word, LindaG. The mainstream media is mute on so many topics, except for their undying hatred of President Trump (MAGA/build the wall/lock Her up).
Old NFO (the training advocate) - It's not. And SNFL 'should' take out any/all pirates and use NGFS to take out the bases. Don't waste an airplane and bombs. Sailors need practice too!
Pirate enclaves do need to be leveled, and nothing does that quite as well as B-52's. However, recognizing the need for gunnery practice, I'll make you this bargain. The Navy can bombard from the littorals, and perhaps the B-52's can saturation bomb exit points beyond the range of Naval gunfire. In the spirit of joint operations, of course. 
WSF - Thanks for the reply. We have a Somali population in Colorado, centered around the Denver suburb, Aurora. Very tall, thin people and arrogant in the extreme. They dominate the taxicab business at DIA. Some are employed in the meat packing industry where they cause problems.
The Somalis are a deeply ungrateful people, with egos that don't match their ability. I'm sure that they could be trained to drive a cab or to butcher a hawg (Islam notwithstanding), but I wouldn't trust those immigrants with anything more complicated. If they were to construct a bomb, it would have to be a simple one.
CAPT Fast - As to "the country is not worth the price of a single nuclear weapon" I think as a Aurora resident,I would establish a "go-fund-me" site to enable the use of perhaps a small Nuclear Weapon, say 0.75Megaton range. Even support the Navy delivering it.

Somali and Ethopian residents here just don't want to get along. the somai's would fit right in Chicago.
The Navy, naturally steps up to fund the nuclear weapon, encouraging the general public to help in any way they can (Bravo Zulu). It's what we Navy types do. As a 1300, we prefer to take them out more personally, but NAVAIR certainly should get the right to drop the weapon on Mogadishu if they started the Go-Fund-Me initiative.  
Maybe it could be pointed out to the Somalis living in Colorado that a bigger and more beautiful world awaits in Illinois, and in Chicago in specific. You could get crowd funding for the relocation campaign as well. 
Mike_C - It's fascinating that there seems to not be even rough consensus on how many Somalis are in Minnesota, or even in the US. Wikipedia leads one of its entries with "74,000 in Minnesota". FactCheck (it's just a name duh; kinda like Honest Herman's Fine Used Cars) assures us that it's MUCH lower, and that claiming the number to be north of 70k is an attack (racist of course) on President Obama, PBUH.
You're right. Even questioning or attempting to quantify the number of Somalis in the US (potential terrorists all) is impossibly racist. The next thing that you're likely to demand is that Rep. Omar (D-MN) remove her turban. Oh, the horror.
Now personally I have no idea exactly how many Somalis are in MN, or the US, but it would be safe to conclude that whatever the true number is, it is certainly excess to requirements. I've traveled to MSP/Twin Cities a few times this year on business, and was fascinated to note that even the wealthy, educated/credentialed, generally liberal, overwhelmingly white people I was meeting were noticing that there is a problem with all the Somalis. Of course they glance over their shoulders first, then hunch over and speak rapidly in a low voice. Then they look around again. The tradecraft is terrible. 
They're liberals. They usually either speak in uneducated terms reserved for University terms or in a country club accent reminiscent of Thurston Howell III (see Gilligan's Island). They're entitled, elite and better than you. Thus they feel no need for any sort of soto voce tradecraft.
CAPT Fast - those would be remarks by the "unarmed citizens"?
Of course. They have bodyguards. No need for guns in the hands of the great unwashed. I think that's what Lord North said about the colonists back in the 1775 timeframe. As I recall, the march to Concord (like a picnic) was a lot more fun than the march back to Boston. Somebody ought to explain that to Beto, the fake Mexican; Liz, the fake Indian; Julian Castro - with a last name that speaks volumes; Kamala, the fake black woman; and Yang (polling somewhere south of .75%). And the effite Butt Guy who had the gall to wear a Navy uniform (disgracing us all in the process).
The New Battle for the Atlantic - Mail

LSP - Interesting. Does the Russian navy pose much of a threat? I'm guessing (totally) that they wouldn't but for the absence of European naval power. Britain, for example, made a bold call for an island nation, getting rid of its navy. But let's not forget, all the Moslem votes don't come cheap, y'know.
My sense is that the Russian Navy has nuclear missiles that work. Putting them onto submarines provides them with silos that are very difficult to kill in a first strike against Russia.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet (protecting waters that they view as 'home waters') is effective against potential regional threats. Russia is a regional power and if we are speaking of defense, it's capable. It is no longer a world power nor is it capable of projecting military power with its navy beyond its region in any meaningful way.  
Russia has a GDP of $1.578 trillion (2017), which is just about half of that of California. And Russia is NINE TIME ZONES LONG. That alone says a great deal about what they're able to do. They have problems that keep them occupied on defense, and they can poke the US in the eye with a stick from time to time. 
Ed - Having a son who is a COB on a Virginia Class after serving for years on 688s, in the area you describe, it irks me that most of what I know I got from Blind Man's Bluff :)
I look forward to reading this.
No, I still don't have Chrome. It requires me to drive for an hour, sit for an hour or so and I haven't been well. Kidney stone issues. So I'm not completely housebound, but we all have our crosses to bear. If I felt better, I'd be in China right now. 
Congratulations to Master Chief Bonderenka for a career of service, and to you for raising him. I am one of those people who believes that there are two types of ships - subs and targets. I've ridden on 688's, 637's, as supercargo, and some repurposed SPECOPS boats. That was then and this is now. Things have come a long way since I was doing those things.
Dan - Russia is taking advantage of the fact that most NATO members in Europe are busy committing economic and cultural suicide. Without the threat of US involvement Russia could, even in its diminshed state, pose an existential threat to Western Europe. Their surface navy is a shadow of it's former self. And while they are starting to reconstitute their submarine force it too is anemic. A naval war in the Atlantic that did not include the US woul be a toss up. The reality is that without nukes Russia is a third class economy with a third class military. The problem is almost all of NATO has neglected their forces and are also at a third class level. The USA is the 800# gorilla on the planet with China working hard to catch up. EVERYONE else on the planet....minus almost irrelevant outside of local in Iran in he Persian Gulf. In the Pacific Japan and Australia have small but meaningful capabilites but aren't a major consideration anywhere but the Pacific.
I agree mostly. The new Russian submarines are good for what they do and for where they do it (North Atlantic, Arctic and Bearing Sea down to the Sea of O and the NORTHPAC. But it's a regional presence and is almost completely defensive. Offensive military operations (outside of a nuclear conflict) would see them losing boats that are needed to protect their boomers in the Arctic.
Kle - Russia is only an existential threat in the nuclear arena.

Other than that, they've become sort of vastly feeble in time with most of Europe (France and Italy are still at least trying to take Defense seriously). Russia hasn't even managed to knock over Ukraine; their chances against what's left of Europe are poor indeed.

Of course, we should really have 3 Heavy Divisions in Poland, that would put the kibosh on Russian dreams of European adventures for sure.
It would be vastly embarrassing if the Russian Army had its ass handed it back by the Poles. Russia is a regional power and so is Poland and the Poles have been preparing for a defensive war against the Russians. They'd rather do it with American help and we've been forward deploying (and rotating) armor and anti-armor rotorcraft into that region for a few years now. Russia takes note and bristles at the thought, but there's not much that they can do...or want to do really. As I noted in my reply to LSP (above), their GDP and their size as a nation limit their options. 

I'm one of those people who believe that we have a lot more in common with the Russians than with a lot of our 'allies'. So you can have at me for that if you wish. The Democrat/mainstream media Russia hoax has strained relations and options that we could exercise in our common interests. I believe that, along with the coup attempt, had deeper and more sinister implications in which internal US plots, and not Russian plots, were at work. Sure, the Russians engage in propaganda campaigns as a matter of fact. We do the same to them, all of the time. It's Spy vs Spy.
We engage in espionage against them and they do the same thing. Despite popular art and films, it has been a generally gentlemanly game. They don't kill our people and we don't kill theirs. We didn't in the days of the Soviet Union, either. If we stopped, would they? That's the $64K question. I don't think that we could. And neither could they. We do it because we like to do it and it's a multi-hundred billion dollar industry in the USA. 


There are things that I can remember with clarity. Though I was a boy, I recall where I was when the news came out that John F., and later, Robert Kennedy was shot. I can recall where I was when Space Shuttle Challenger blew up. I can also recall where I was on September 11, 2001 and the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked.

World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2
Nobody in America or the world thought on September 12, 2001, that the next President would be a (sorta Mohammedan) huckster named Barack Hussein Obama. Or that he would go on a world apology tour. Or that he'd try to change the remembrance of September 11 to a day that honored community organizers/rabble rousers/professional agitators.

And nobody in America or the world thought that Donald Trump would succeed him as the forty-fifth president. Trump, a patriot, undid the Obama legacy very quickly. Thank you President Trump.

On September 11, 2001, nobody thought that US Congress people would speak of the day as, "The time that somebody did something to somebody," eighteen years later.

Remembering the attack by Mohammedans is important to us. The murdered have become our honored dead and to be fair, Muslims died in the World Trade Center along with thousands of other people who went to work that day.

Do any of you recall Omar al-Bayoumi? Cudos if you do, but I don't expect you to. He was a Saudi Intelligence operative who interfaced with the 9/11 hijackers and other Muslims who smuggled explosives into the United States, intent on destroying a domestic target. The FBI took credit for uncovering the al-Bayoumi affair, and never once did they say, "Thank you LL for giving him to us on a silver platter." It's a long story with a less than pretty end. FBI. Par for the course.

On September 11, 2001, nobody thought that eleven years later on September 12, 2012, that Mohammedans would attack the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the CIA annex, about a mile away and that a US Secretary of State would testify, "what difference does it make?" Nobody would have imagined that while US military assets were available to assist those beleaguered souls, fighting to their lives, that they would have been told to "stand down". 

On September 11, 2001, nobody thought that fifteen years later the FBI, the Director of Central Intelligence and the Director of National Intelligence would team up to launch a coup against a sitting  US President by generating false information and establishing an intelligence op. against him. There are a lot of things that Americans would never have considered on that day. They would never have imagined that the Democrat Party would transform itself into a National Socialist Party bent on repealing the Bill of Rights and the Electoral College eighteen years in the future.

And here we are.